Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or uncrewed aerial vehicle, also known as unmanned aircraft or uncrewed aircraft (UA), commonly known as a drone, is an aircraft without a human pilot on board. UAVs are a component of an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), which include additionally a ground-based controller and a system of communications with the UAV. The flight of UAVs may operate under remote control by a human operator ― remotely-piloted aircraft (RPA) ― or with various degrees of autonomy, such as autopilot assistance, up to fully autonomous aircraft that does not allow human intervention.
Compared to crewed aircraft, UAVs were originally used for missions too “dull, dirty or dangerous” for humans. While drones originated mostly in military applications, their use is rapidly finding many more applications including aerial photography, product deliveries, agriculture, policing and surveillance, infrastructure inspections, science, smuggling, and drone racing.